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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 20th Nov 2017

Seqirus mentions
What’s new this flu season? CDC provides insight
According to the CDC, getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. A quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine (“Flublok Quadrivalent” RIV) is newly available this season. A quadrivalent inactivated flu vaccine, “Afluria Quadrivalent” IIV, was licensed last season after the annual recommendations were published
Government advisers back adjuvanted flu vaccine for over 65s from 2018
The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has said the adjuvanted flu vaccine ‘would be more effective than the non-adjuvanted vaccines currently in use’ in those aged over 65 , according to minutes from its latest meeting. It added that cost modelling shows the vaccine would be ‘highly cost-effective’ in both the 65-74 and over 75 age groups.
Use new flu vaccine in over 65s for 2018/19 flu season, says JCVI
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have recommended that a different, adjuvanted flu vaccine is used in over 65s for the 2018/19 flu season. As there is an adjuvanted vaccine available for practices to order for the 2018/19 flu season, the JCVI has asked Public Health England, the Department of Health and NHS England to ‘give consideration to the evidence that had been provided on the provision of the adjuvanted flu vaccine to those over 65’
Pandemic Influenza News
Avian influenza detected in southern S. Korea
The South Korean government said Saturday the avian influenza (AI) virus has been detected at a poultry farm operated by a local conglomerate located in the southern part of the country.
South Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm, raises bird flu alert level
South Korea on Sunday said it had confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu at a duck farm in the south west of the country and raised its bird flu alert level to the highest ranking. The virus was discovered on a farm on Saturday with some 12,000 ducks in Gochang county, southwest of Seoul
Natural Reassortants of Potentially Zoonotic Avian Influenza Viruses H5N1 and H9N2 from Egypt Display Distinct
The cocirculation of zoonotic highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of subtype H5N1 and avian influenza virus (AIV) of subtype H9N2 among poultry in Egypt for at least 6 years should render that country a hypothetical hot spot for the emergence of reassortant, phenotypically altered viruses, yet no reassortants have been detected in Egypt. The present investigations proved that reassortants of the Egyptian H5N1 clade 2.2.1.2 virus and H9N2 virus of the G1-B lineage can be generated by coamplification in embryonated chicken eggs. Reassortants were restricted to the H5N1 subtype and acquired between two and all six of the internal segments of the H9N2 virus
Smallholders reminded of ways to prevent Avian flu
UK smallholders are being reminded of ways to avoid Avian flu in their poultry flock as the contagious disease is being carried by wild birds. A new poster outlining simple preventative measures is targeted at smallholders and they are encouraged to print it and keep it handy
No cases of bird flu for the last month
For a month now, poultry farms in the Western Cape have not reported any fresh cases of bird flu. The industry has suffered under an outbreak of avian influenza which cost the economy more than R800 million. Agriculture MEC Alan Winde says: “I am pretty certain within the next couple of weeks, we’ll start to see those in the poultry industry will restock. This is a business decision”
Farmers in Lower Saxony are looking to try and protect themselves from H5N8 wild bird avian flu infection
Farmers in Lower Saxony are looking to try and protect themselves from H5N8 wild bird avian flu infection. Poultry farmers are preparing for a new, stricter approach to bird flu. The highly contagious virus H5N8 is now present in the domestic wild bird population, said Friedrich-Otto Ripke, President of the Lower Saxony Poultry Industry Association (NGW) in Oldenburg: "We have realised that we have the risk of bird flu, so to speak." Local government has agreed to set up restricted areas each time suspect dead birds are found
North Rhine-Westphalia is adapting to the ever present threat of H5N8 bird flu
North Rhine-Westphalia is adapting to the ever present threat of H5N8 bird flu. In an updated risk assessment, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut recently rated the risk of H5N8 introduction from wild birds from "low" to "probably" high. The approaching winter favors the spread of the pathogen H5N8
ECDC: Guide To Revising The Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan
With the rapid growth in novel viruses with pandemic potential over the past 5 years - including some (H7N9, H5N1, H5N6, MERS) with potential virulence that could exceed the 1918 Spanish Flu - over the past year we've seen renewed interest in updating pandemic plans around the globe
Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn
While trying to avoid alarmism, global health agencies are steadily ratcheting up concern about bird flu in Asia. Bird viruses that can infect humans — particularly those of the H7N9 strain — continue to spread to new cities there. Since October 2016, China has seen a “fifth wave” of H7N9 infections. Nearly 1,600 people have tested positive, almost 40 percent of whom have died
Industry News
Sanofi: UGA, Sanofi Pasteur develop new broadly protective vaccines for H3N2 influenza
A collaborative R&D partnership between researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur has resulted in the identification of a vaccine candidate that protects against multiple co-circulating strains of H3N2 influenza isolated over five seasons following testing in mouse and ferret models
3 Reasons Novavax Stock Could Double in 2018
Despite its topsy-turvy moves over the last 11 months or so, next year could shape up to be much better for Novavax. Should NanoFlu prove to be as successful in the late-stage study as it was in pre-clinical testing going up against Sanofi's Fluzone and Fluzone HD, Novavax could have a huge winner on its hands
How to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
The flu is an underappreciated danger that kills thousands each year. The first tip to stay safe is to get the flu vaccine, according to Dr. Julie Brandies, a physician at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. There’s virtually no reason to not get one. Antivirals like oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) require a doctor’s prescription and only help if taken within 48 hours of symptoms starting
This Canadian company is on the forefront of global efforts to stop the next pandemic
Vancouver-based gene sequencing company Fusion Genomics is using IBM’s cloud capabilities to revolutionize the diagnostic process, aiming to give physicians an eight-hour turnaround in correctly identifying any type of pathogen, from the common flu bug to avian flu and hepatitis.
Academic studies
Many Health Care Providers Work While Sick
More than 40 percent of health care personnel with influenza-like illness work while ill, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control
The use of ambient humidity conditions to improve influenza forecast
Laboratory and epidemiological evidence indicate that ambient humidity modulates the survival and transmission of influenza. A new study explores whether the inclusion of humidity forcing in mathematical models describing influenza transmission improves the accuracy of forecasts generated with those models
Researchers chase a better fix for the seasonal flu
The flu and complications from it can kill as many 56,000 Americans every year while costing $10 billion in doctor visits, hospitalizations and medication. But since the strains change so quickly, its vaccine is only around 20 to 60 percent effective. So researchers are trying to develop a universal and longer-lasting solution. A handful of major pharmaceutical companies are supporting universal flu vaccine research now, including GlaxoSmithKline, the third-largest flu shot maker
Text message reminders increase influenza vaccination rates
Sending text message reminders to patients at high risk for contracting influenza can help boost vaccination rates at a modest cost, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine
Pediatric influenza news
Flu vaccine prevents hospitalization in children, study shows
Children vaccinated against influenza are significantly less likely to experience serious complications from the virus that could land them in hospital, new research from Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) has found
These families lost kids to the flu. Now, they’re fighting to prevent more deaths
Families Fighting Flu members speak out about the importance of finding a universal flu vaccine that would be more effective and could be given more often. They also spread awareness about the current flu shot through the media, public service announcements and by sharing their families’ stories. For one campaign called Keep Flu Out of School, the group partners with the CDC, the National Foundation for Infectious Disease and the National Association of School Nurses to help local school districts to improve their flu prevention efforts
Over 65’s influenza news
Review audits highlight skill gaps in infection control
In Australia, the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt ordered an agency review of the St John’s facilities in Wangaratta, Victoria and Uniting AgeWell Strathdevon in La Trobe, northwest Tasmania following the deadly influenza outbreak in August and September. At Stathdevon, 76 per cent of residents had received the 2017 flu vaccine, however only 36 per cent of staff were vaccinated. At St John’s retirement village nursing home, approximately 45 per cent of staff were vaccinated and 33 per cent of residents
General Influenza News
4 common myths about vaccines
One of the various myths surrounding vaccinations is that the flu shot can give you the flu. The shot may spark some mild and temporary flulike symptoms, a sign that the vaccine is effectively building immunity
Chicken soup instead of Tamiflu
While both options are possible it is not too late to get vaccinated, the safest remedy against the flu. Doctors and pharmacies offer it. Every year, statistics clock up around 200,000 influenza cases, of which 1,500 are fatalities. Low vaccination coverage is particularly incomprehensible, especially for staff in hospitals and nursing homes, where vaccination would mean the risk of virus transmission to patients would be automatically reduced.
AHS releases mid-November flu stats
Alberta Health Services has released its latest data on this year’s influenza immunization program and it shows the number of Albertans getting their flu shot continues to grow. As of November 11, 807,628 Albertans have received their flu shot. The number of Albertans admitted to hospital with confirmed cases of the flu so far is 178, while the number of influenza-related deaths total four throughout the province to this point
Second class protection from the flu?
A flu vaccine strengthens the immune system against the main viral strains. On the market there are different powerful vaccine preparations: Some are three virus strength and some battle four types of viruses. The statutory health insurance pays for the triple vaccine. The quadruple active vaccine is only available for those who are privately insured. This is unfortunate, GP Mathias Frank commented: "This is of course already a two-class medicine and I for one am very surprised, because the World Health Organization, the WHO, has recommended quadruple vaccine use since 2013"
Why get a flu shot? The unvaccinated are a major drag on the economy
A study published last year in Health Affairs put the economic burden of the flu in the United States at $5.8 billion, with about 80% of the drag attributed to unvaccinated sufferers. Insurance plans are required to cover the shots without a co-payment under the Affordable Care Act, but some plans limit availability to certain facilities
No shortage of flu vaccines in Nevada despite some clinics running out
We're in the early stages of the flu season, yet some clinics in Washoe County, Nevada, are already out of the flu vaccine. Heidi Parker with Immunize Nevada says even though some clinics are running out of the vaccine, that does not indicate that there's a supply shortage
Health center emphasizes need for Native Americans to get flu shots
Workers at the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center in Montana are emphasizing the need for Native Americans to get flu shots. The center serves about 1,000 patients, and most are Native American. Health workers say Native Americans are prone to health complications from the flu, which can be fatal
Burden of disease
Expatriate dies of H1N1 virus in Oman
An expatriate man living in Oman died of the swine flu virus (H1N1) in the first week of October. The Ministry of Health said that many other patients who fell sick with the pandemic disease were making a full recovery. Many other cases of H1N1 were reported by the health authorities, where they were diagnosed since last January; however, one patient has died this month due to health complications
Swine flu sees spike in Maharashtra, again
After a year of lying low, the swine flu virus is back in Maharashtra state in India with 744 deaths and 6,113 cases being recorded so far this year. A senior official with the state directorate of health services noted that the spurt in swine flu cases this year was because of changes in the weather and the intensity of the virus
Two flu deaths reported in LA County, prompting vaccination reminder
Two flu related deaths have been reported in Los Angeles County, prompting local health officials on Friday to urge residents to get vaccinated. The two people who died were described as a middle-aged woman and an elderly man. Both had underlying health conditions, according to a statement by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health